BRATTLEBORO -- A Rindge, N.H., man has been released from the hospital and is recovering under his sister’s care after a falling maple tree limb resulted in a lower back injury last week.
Brandon Reisert, 40, was severely hurt while cutting logs with a chain saw in Hinsdale, N.H., on July 19, and was hospitalized at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center until Saturday.
According to Hinsdale Police Department Senior Patrolman Michael Bomba, who responded to the scene of the incident, Reisert was working on private property when a dead limb about 10 inches in diameter struck him in the back. Bomba said Reisert called for help with a cell phone.
The senior patrolmen said the Hinsdale Fire Department and Rescue Inc. also responded to the scene. He said Reisert was visibly in a lot of pain when assistance arrived. Reisert was taken to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, where he was airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Bomba said.
Reisert’s sister, Amy, spoke to the Reformer for her brother -- who is still in a great deal of pain -- on Monday and said all emergency personnel did a wonderful job handling the situation.
"Within 10 minutes they were right on the scene," she said in a telephone interview. "They were very helpful and very nice."
She said it was a traumatic experience and mentioned she and her brother plan to send thank-you cards to all responders.
Working with chain saws can be very dangerous, said Bill
Guenther said it is important to have personal protective equipment, or PPE. He said it is crucial to use a helmet with three vital functions -- a hard hat to protect the user’s head, a screen that flips down to guard the eyes and built-in ear muffs to soften the tool’s loud noise.
Wearing chaps is also important, Guenther said. He said there are two kinds of chaps, ones that cover the front of legs and ones that are built into pants. Both are lined with Kevlar, the same synthetic material used for bullet-proof vests. As most chain saw injuries happen to the upper thighs, Guenther said it is critical to have the chaps properly fitted to your body.
Leather gloves lined with Kevlar and a good pair of sturdy boots are also helpful, he said.
Guenther said a whole book can be written about how to position oneself while cutting trees with a chain saw. Safety techniques are taught in a course called "The Game of Logging," which is offered by the Woodland Owners’ Association. The brainchild of Soren Eriksson, a legendary logger from Sweden, the course instructs both professionals and novices how to stay safe when dealing with chain saws. According to Guenther, it was Eriksson that determined 85 percent of all logging fatalities occur within 12 feet of the stump.
Guenther also advises that no one work alone with a chain saw. Still, individuals working together in the woods should remain at least two tree lengths away from one another when cutting trees. If someone is cutting a tree that is 85 feet tall, it is recommended to stand 170 away from the person with the chain saw.
The state forester said it is also important to physically and mentally pace oneself while working and to keep handy a small First Aid kit that includes Emergency Trauma Dressings.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.